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Suspect Shot Dead ‘Over Bag Of Weed’: Officer Taken Off Duty As Police Open Probe Into Exuma Shooting

JARVIS BURROWS

JARVIS BURROWS

By EARYEL BOWLEG

Tribune Staff Reporter

ebowleg@tribunemedia.net

AN Exuma man died about two hours after he was shot by an off-duty police officer on that island on Wednesday night, police said.

A statement issued by police shortly after the incident said the officer in question “has been relieved of his duties and is assisting police with the investigation”.

Relatives have identified the deceased as 39-year-old Jarvis Burrows, who moved to Exuma from Nassau about two years ago.

Cell phone videos taken by a bystander in the aftermath of the shooting show a man believed to be the officer in plain clothes holding a gun in his hand as he hovers over the victim.

In the video, the victim, while still alive, is seen lying shirtless on the ground with an apparent gunshot wound to the buttocks.

The officer, who appears calm, then pulls a small plastic bag out of the victim’s hand, which a bystander says is marijuana.

The bystander is heard repeatedly screaming for an ambulance to take the victim to hospital, claiming Burrows was “shot for a bag of weed”.

He also asked why it had been necessary for the officer to open fire.

Meanwhile, a man who said he witnessed the incident alleged that the officer had been bothering the deceased for a week prior to the fatal shooting.

Jahkino Rivers told The Tribune he was present when the officer came after Burrows apparently for a bag of weed at Harts Settlement, Exuma.

“The officer—I bumped into him before I come to the bar where I was at and he was parked outside of Island Luck and when he came out he looked like he was mad or something and then people was saying he spent all his money,” Mr Rivers told The Tribune.

“The same officer is parked across the road and he’s telling people how he just broke up a bench that Jarvis usually sit down and chill at.

“Jarvis had a bag in his hand….(the officer) came out of nowhere in the dark, jump out on him. He grabbed for the bag of weed with one hand and in the other hand he had the gun in hand. He was telling him that he gone shoot him if he don’t give (him) the weed. Jarvis keep screaming ‘please, (officer’s name) no. I don’t want to go to jail. Please let me go. Please leave me.’”

Mr Rivers said bystanders told the 39-year-old to just give the drug to the officer. Instead, he said, Burrows was allegedly trying to run.

“He never grabbed the gun…. and (the officer) shoot him and then after he shoot him he jumped on top of him. . .(he had his) knee on Jarvis and like he holding Jarvis down and then with the other hand that got the gun, he facing everybody and like pointing the gun ‘if any one of y’all jump into this it’s gonna be y’all too.’

“We was pleading for him to get off him and he kept telling us he ain’t calling for nobody so people started calling the ambulance and calling the police for him.

“For the whole week, he been coming around and (bothering) Jarvis and few of us who is be out here talking about we don’t work - it’s a pandemic nobody really working right now,” Mr Rivers claimed.

On the cell phone footage which circulated yesterday, a bystander can be heard saying: “You’re not supposed to come shoot people like dogs, boy, for a bag of (expletive) weed.

“Come on dog, you off duty, you shouldn’t even do that. There are better ways to do things man.

“That could have been any one of us right now. Anyone going to run from you, you going to shoot us, boy?

“For a bag of weed, dog. What this (expletive) do that far to get shoot, what’d he do? What’d he do, what’d he do?

“He didn’t do nothing to get shoot, that’s sad boy,” the bystander said, pleading for someone to take Burrows to the hospital.

“Look at all this blood man. . .this is somebody’s child, boy. . .this is Exuma. You shoot this n* for a bag of weed.... Put him in the car. . .c’mon let’s get this n* to the hospital. This don’t make no sense. For a bag of weed this man shoot this man.”

Part of the bystander’s comments have been edited by The Tribune for legal reasons.

Burrows’ sister Piedra Pinder said she was present during his last moments at the clinic as he fought for his life, after getting messages that he had been shot.

“I just went in and looked at my brother just gasping his last breath and I just said you know now is the time to call mummy because this is serious,” she said.

The family decided to meet at the airport in anticipation of Burrows being airlifted to New Providence. She said officials would not let relatives see her brother at the airport and claims there was a lack of communication.

She said her brother was locked up three weeks ago and their mother had an encounter with the officer allegedly involved.

She said he was released and “just was enjoying his life for a couple days” before the shooting.

She was upfront about her brother’s past with drugs and said her family did not condone his lifestyle.

“We didn’t support it but….he’s a grown man,” she said.

She said her brother loved Exuma as he just wanted a peaceful life. He moved to the island in 2018 around the time he had his child, said his sister.

“The same time around he had his baby, I had an uncle that got murdered and my mother went to the funeral in Nassau and he told mom he didn’t want to be in Nassau no more. If she could give him a chance you know come to Exuma.”

According to police, the shooting occurred shortly after 9pm on Wednesday, involving an off-duty police officer.

“A male victim was transported to the Exuma medical facility to be treated. Air ambulance was summoned to transport the victim to New Providence. While at the Exuma International Airport awaiting transport, sometime around 11pm, the victim succumbed to his injuries. The officer involved has been relieved of his duties and is assisting police with the investigation,” a police report said.

Police Commissioner Paul Rolle could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Comments

tribanon 1 month ago

Just a member of Minnis and Rolle's gestapo police squad doing his duty.

And just another family left to grieve the unjust killing of a loved one because of an unconscionable act of police violence.

No doubt Marvin Dames is not too concerned about this. He has perfected the art of sweeping such unjustified killings under the rug.

What more can you say?!

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KapunkleUp 1 month ago

Not much except that this will continue unchecked until some politician's family member gets shot by cops.

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moncurcool 1 month ago

Seriously? You blame somebody else for what this idiot has done? Really? For goodness sake come on

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

how long has this angry man been allowed to take out his frustrations on the Bahamian public? I'm gonna bet this isnt the furst incident. Look at the officer who beat up the two lil girls was that Exuma or Eleuthera. The officer who assaulted the 3 individuals who eventually had their case thrown out, the officer who body slam the man in the nightclub. Yeah I blame someone other than the man who committed The crime. The armed forces have a problem with anger management.

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SP 1 month ago

The Bahamas is unquestionably a regressive police state! NOT exactly the kind of place tourists from modern countries would want to visit.

The government and Police Commissioner Paul Rolle are directly responsible for the ongoing asinine stupidity. Now they will all blame the officer for acting foolishly carrying out their draconian policy!

Stupid does as stupid is. RIP my Bahamian brother.

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Clamshell 1 month ago

Police officers in the Bahamas invariably are poorly trained and have an ingrained belief that their badge allows them to do whatever they want in their personal life as well as when they’re on duty. They seem to have a second ingrained belief: that they can shoot anybody, anywhere, any time, who simply annoys them.

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ScubaSteve 1 month ago

What this "officer" did was plain and simple... MURDER. He needs to be arrested and charged with murder.

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trueBahamian 1 month ago

This is really sad. This officer has to be made an example of for the rest to get the message. Based on what's stated here, it appears that the officer was not arresting the gentleman and trying to confiscate the marijuana. It seems that the officer was simply taking it from him. So, essentially you have a criminal with a badge.

There's no justification to shoot someone for simple marijuana possession, even if you're acting in an official police capacity unless you're met with violence and you have. no other option. The Commissioner needs to step up and speak to these situations. The Commissioner has to show the country that he has control over his men. This is not the time to play "brotherhood". The police are paid by taxpayers and taxpayers deserve to get value for their money.

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stislez 1 month ago

DEATH TO ALL BAHAMIAN CORRUPT COPS! das it........

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nassau98@aol.com 1 month ago

I am saddened over the death of this young man and if the officer in question acted recklessly in this matter, he should be punished to the full extent of the law.

However, there are many police officers who do their jobs professionally - risking their lives every day to keep us safe.

Consequently, lets us not bacterized our police officers – because we never know when we will need them to come to our aid.

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moncurcool 1 month ago

What this individual did if factual is clearly wrong and deserving of being tried in court as such. However, we need to be careful in that accusations we throw. While he may be a part of the police force he was off duty and acting in the capacity of a civilian. One cannot seek to blame the police force or national security, for the stupidity of an employee not at work. If that is the case, every time someone does something in this country we need to blame their employer.

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licks2 1 month ago

The officer shot a man he was arresting. . .witnesses said that the man had drugs and ran away from the police!! That's all yinna know about right up in now! SO HOW IN THE AUNTY-VICKY -BLUE-SOCK-WITH-THE-BIG-TOE-HANGING-OUT YINNA GET TO ALL THIS STUPIDITY YALL WRITING ON THIS SITE?

Shut yinna dumb pie -holes and use yinna sense. . .ya hear!

As far as we who here in NP are concern. . .case closed. . .man placed under arrest, mad escape custody and police shots man. . .case justified under law!! That's yinna PENAL CODE. . .in case yall don't know!!

Now police them gone down in Exuma and something een look right in this "by-the-book" killing!!

So, now the coroner and the "other" police them think this case looks a "lil fishy" . . .naw they took the police off active duty and started an investigation into ALL PARTICULARS OF THIS SHOOTING. . .not why the officer shot!!

The man was arrested for drugs (legally). . .he broke free and flee. . .making him a fugitive. . .giving the police the legal right shot to stop him. . .so he shot him in his boongy. . .text book use of lethal force!!

Now don't get me wrong, I too think that the officer could have leave off trying to take the dude-just then and alone, since errybody knew who he was, and arrest him later! That's just "my feeling". . .but that is not the law or the police feeling!! Then there is the "nerve" of that dude to have drugs for sale to other people and when the police tried to arrested him say: "leave me alone. . .don't put me in jail". . .then ran off. . .with the drugs and don't expect anything to happen? Yinna better get real!!

So now after all this back and forth. . .the law giving the police authorized use of lethal force to stop a fleeing prisoner. . .the people them saying the officer did not have to shot the fleeing man in his hip. . . and the other police and coroner "taking a look" into the shooting. . .yinna just show some good sense and keep ya nonsense to ya self!!

For example, that post that says the police committed murder!! Murder is the "intent" to kill a person and accomplishing that intent in the death of said person!

So, please tell me why a police with a lethal weapon in his/her hand will shot a man in his boongy if he/she intent to kill the person?? Why not shot him in his center mass or the head!!

The most ya can say about the shooting of the officer is that he intended to "stop" the fugitive from running away!! The area of bullet entry is generally a non-fatal area. . .however, like in this case, it could be in rear cases!!

So, let all act like adults and wait for the authorities to do their jobs. . .OK!

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ThisIsOurs 1 month ago

clearly you're wrong. The lackadaisical police force thought What he did was egregious enough to dismiss him forthwith and he's been charged. So take your biased wrongdoing supporting hate somewhere else

you also forgot the part where the OFFDUTY officer pointed the loaded gun at bystanders and threatened them. but you is only show up to defend stupidity anyway

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SP 1 month ago

YOU sir, are obviously a mindless idiot, incapable of reaching an unbiased opinion. Your line of "TINKING" represents most of what is wrong in our country!

The stupid, dumbass, cop felt embolden enough by the policies and utterances of the commissioner of police and government, to shot this man for possession of a small bag of marijuana.

Just how dam stupid does an individual have to be to rationalize shotting a person for a small bag of weed?

Obviously, the commissioner of police and government are clearly guilty of sending the wrong signals to their D- average goon squad!

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Lknowles 1 month ago

In these circumstances when a cop kills someone they should be made to pay for the funeral it's so sad and senseless I spoke to Jarvis a few hours before he was killed r.i.p

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hrysippus 1 month ago

Words fail me, Is this really the level that the state's security forces have descended to?

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SP 1 month ago

Words fail us all! The "state's security forces" in the Bahamas have been way out of control for decades. The asinine stupidity of this officer is common in the country with government blessings!

These a##holes cops habitually arrest and charge tourists for possessing one joint! Meanwhile, the tourist can go to Jamaica and purchase his weed in a vending machine in the airport arrivals area.

What the hell are the Bahamas government doing???????

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jamaicaproud 1 month ago

RIP. The venom that was normally reserved for the you know who's has now been unleashed with a vengeance on the general population. Such a shame. the COP did say it and now they have killed a man because of their zeal.

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mandela 1 month ago

International News " A young Bahamian man shot dead by police for having a $3.00 joint" International tourist or potential visitor = WTF cancel our trip to the Bahamas them n!$$&@s are crazy down there they killing a bro for a joint, let's go somewhere else anywhere as long as you won't get killed for a joint. It is so sad how we hate on our own. So, so sad that persons who have sworn to protect and serve their employers ( the Bahamian citizens ) can only say thanks for employing them by destroying and killing us.

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